Kansas City Chiefs sign CB Dunta Robinson

The Chiefs’ grade for signing Robinson depends on how they plan to use him. At this point in his career, 31 next month, Robinson has a very specific set of strengths. He’s never been a great on man coverage cornerback. Even in Houston, he allowed way too many receptions in one in one coverage on the outside to be comfortable and he didn’t get any better in Atlanta after they threw all that money at him. However, he’s one of the better run stopping cornerbacks in the NFL and has always been much better on the slot in the seam than covering outside the numbers. He didn’t get to play much in that role last season due to injuries, but whenever he has in the past, he’s been very solid and even requested personally that he be moved there last season, after the team acquired Asante Samuel, before the season ending injury to Brent Grimes.

The Chiefs are rumored to have signed him to play free safety in sub packages and then move to slot cornerback on passing downs, which is his best role at this point in his career. Charles Woodson and Ronde Barber had great seasons in this role last season and Antoine Winfield of the Vikings is expected to make a similar transition this season. Devin McCourty of the Patriots and Casey Hayward of the Packers are two younger cornerbacks we could see in that role next season. The financials for this deal, 3 year, 15 million, with just 4 million guaranteed, suggest that he’ll play in that role, rather than outside as a starting cornerback, and the Chiefs do have a need at both cornerback and free safety.

I like that he got just 4 million guaranteed because he is a well below average cover cornerback, but I can’t give them an A for this signing because we don’t know how they’ll use him and also Robinson playing in that role likely means Javier Arenas is locked into a starting cornerback slot outside. Arenas took over as a starter when the team cut Stanford Routt last season, but played better football when he was a 3rd cornerback than a starter and probably would have also been more comfortable on the slot.

Grade: B




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